Chasing the Beyond with Thundercat [INTERVIEW] by Christopher A. Daniel @Journalistorian @Thundercat

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When Thundercat stepped onto the main stage of this year’s Atlanta Jazz Festival, his aura resembled something out of a 1970s funk LP, but styled directly from a thrift shop clearance rack. The otherworldly bassist, producer and bandleader hailing from Los Angeles appeared oddly dressed in shiny head armor with dangling tassels over his lopsided Afro, a shawl, gray sweatpants, multicolored socks and white flip flops. Read more of this post

#LongPlayLove: D’Angelo’s ‘Brown Sugar’ – Celebrating 20 Years by Justin Chadwick [FULL ALBUM STREAM] @justin_chadwick @TheDangelo @AliShaheed @RaphaelSaadiq

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Happy 20th Anniversary to D’Angelo’s debut album Brown Sugar, originally released July 3, 1995.

If you happen to follow the Chinese zodiac, you’re already aware that 2015 is the Year of the Sheep (or the Goat, depending on one’s respective cultural disposition). The Chinese word for sheep, yáng, means auspiciousness and according to Chinese astrological tradition, the sheep signifies a year of hope and prosperity. From a musical perspective, a convincing case can be made that 2015 is proving to be the year of D’Angelo, as few artists are enjoying a more auspicious and prosperous year than he is. From the unveiling of the universally acclaimed, career-reinvigorating Black Messiah album to the sold-out “The Second Coming” world tour to marking 15 years since the release of his sophomore LP Voodoo this past January, the Richmond, VA-bred soulman has been ubiquitous, as he solidifies his already indelible legacy. And now, today, we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the album that originally launched D’Angelo’s career into stratospheric heights, Brown Sugar. Read more of this post

Lose Yourself in ‘Ego Death,’ The Internet’s Transcendent New Album by Justin Chadwick [REVIEW + FULL STREAM] @justin_chadwick @intanetz @fucktyler @VicMensa @oddfuture @janellemonae

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“Ego death [is the] loss of the separate self or, in the affirmative, a deep and profound merging with the transcendent other.” –  John Harrison, Psy.D (cand), Ego Death & Psychedelics

Ever listen to an album for the first time and wonder how you—or more broadly, the world—ever functioned without it? Well, listening to The Internet’s transcendent third studio album Ego Death provokes precisely this sense of awestruck fascination. Integral members of the acclaimed Los Angeles-based Odd Future hip-hop collective along with Tyler, the Creator, Earl Sweatshirt and Frank Ocean, among others, Sydney “Syd tha Kid” Bennett and Matt Martians formed The Internet as a soulful offshoot project in 2011. Their first two LPs, 2011’s Purple Naked Ladies and 2013’s Feel Good, are both excellent. But Ego Death, released this week, is unequivocally their career breakthrough. Read more of this post

Prince – “HARDROCKLOVER” [FULL STREAM] @3rdeyeboy @3rdeyegirl


Like the rest of the music world, we are peeping the new Prince joint “HARDROCKLOVER” this morning.   In an unusual turn, Prince calls out a number of other artists including two of our faves, Sade and Babyface.  “R&B ain’t got no place” is one of the most memorable quotes on this new track.  Perhaps The Purple One is right, but we still believe in R&B and soul.  Either way, the mid-tempo cut is entertaining and is accentuated by solid guitar playing. Read more of this post

Connecting People Through Music: A Conversation with weeSPIN CEO and Co-founder Darius Fong by Christopher A. Daniel @Journalistorian @weespin @thePREFCT

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Remember that time when you and your peeps used to post up by the radio speakers or go to the club every weekend to hear those new songs by your favorite artists? You and your friends covered your mouths as you yelled at a slick verse or nodded your heads to the beat. It was a special moment because you were all in the same room hearing it at the same time.

Grammy-winning producer, engineer and mixer Darius Fong thought it would be cool to recapture similar times like this without having to be in the same room. Fong is the ultra-cool CEO and co-founder of weeSPIN (iOS only), a free mobile app that allows friends and like-minded people to play and listen to music together in real time despite distance. Read more of this post

#LongPlayLove: The 15 Finest Albums of 2015 So Far by Justin Chadwick [FULL ALBUM STREAMS] @justin_chadwick

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Just a few weeks ago, we took a glimpse into the musical crystal ball to preview the most anticipated new albums set to arrive in 2015’s latter half. Today, we take a look back to the LPs that have tickled our ears and blessed our souls during the first six months of the year. The records selected here represent a diversified spectrum of some of today’s most charismatic artists—from mainstream to underground, veteran to newcomer, US-bred and beyond—spanning a broad range of musical styles. In other words, these albums exemplify the music we love and live for here at soulhead. So without further ado, here are the 15 finest albums of 2015 so far… Read more of this post

#LongPlayLove: Raheem DeVaughn’s ‘The Love Experience’ – Celebrating 10 Years by Justin Chadwick [FULL ALBUM STREAM] @justin_chadwick @Raheem_DeVaughn @ronworthy

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Happy 10th Anniversary to Raheem DeVaughn’s debut album The Love Experience, originally released June 28, 2005.

In a recent interview, the self-described “R&B hippie neo-soul rock star” and “Love King” Raheem DeVaughn confided that he has no grand plans for celebrating the 10th anniversary of his debut album, The Love Experience. Instead, it seems that DeVaughn has something tucked up his ambitious sleeve for the LP’s 15- or 20-year milestones. But soulhead and yours truly just couldn’t wait another five to ten years to extol the many virtues of DeVaughn’s fantastic first long-player. Read more of this post

#SummerSOULstice 1985: Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam’s “I Wonder If I Take You Home” by Michael A. Gonzales @gonzomike @LisaL_CultJam @LisaLisaLL77 #TBT

 

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[Editor’s Note: Summer SOULstice is a new nostalgia-fueled soulhead column that revisits the memorable songs that have defined the summers of our past. We hope you enjoy these sonic strolls down memory lane, and stay tuned for more classic tracks to be celebrated throughout the summer.] 

Summer SOULstice – 1985: Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam’s “I Wonder If I Take You Home”

by Michael A. Gonzales 

Living in New York City during the summer of 1985, my favorite jam was “I Wonder If I Take You Home” by Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam. With its heavy synths, Linn drums and irresistible bassline, the defiant groove and teenage romanticism of the soulful single became an anthem. One heard it booming from zooming taxi cabs, screaming from behind the counter of uptown bodegas blasting WKTU, and shrieking from the massive boom-box speakers of Times Square breakdancers. With Ronald Reagan serving his second term in the White House, crack cocaine hitting the streets hard, Hollywood royalty Rock Hudson dying from AIDS (at a time when the press and government barely mentioned the disease), Jean-Michel Basquiat creating life on canvas, the introduction of new Coke and Back to the Future in theaters, 1985 was a pivotal twelve months that changed the world, and “I Wonder…” was an essential part of the year’s soundtrack. Read more of this post

Your New Favorite Musician Honors His Favorite Musicians [FULL DOWNLOAD] @eagleobabel @outsidersox

Your New Favorite Musician Honors His Favorite Musicians

Your New Favorite Musician Honors His Favorite Musicians

To call EagleBabel a rapper would be categorically inaccurate. The man wears many hats: producer, pianist, arranger, Frank-Ocean-esque singer. All of these different talents collide to bring together a complete package of musical genius that is rare to find all at once. The Chicago native is part of a musical outfit called The Outsiders. Formed at Stanford University, this is a talented collective of individuals who love making music, but also realize the social influence music has. Opting to speak truth to power with their talents, their music is something akin to a hip-hop themed resistance soundtrack.

On Odes, EagleBabel’s solo EP, the musician takes seven individuals/places that have influenced him and crafts a song to demonstrate the powerful love and affection he has for each of them. Tracks such as the stellar opener (featuring fellow Outsider, faruhdey) “Herbie Smokin Zen” honors the legendary Herbie Hancock, whereas other musicians who get love are Kanye West, Missy Elliot, Luke James, Dom Kennedy, and Marvin Gaye.

Listen to and download the full EP below!

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Get Reacquainted with the Iconic Shalamar in this Unsung [Full Episode] @ShalamarMusic @jodywatley @tvonetv

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Comprised of Howard Hewett, Jody WatleyJeffrey Daniel, and more,  Shalamar was originally the creation of Soul Train‘s Don Cornelius. After their start, Shalamar would grow to become a globally recognized presence in the music and fashion industries. Known as trendsetters of the 70’s and 80’s, Shalamar has surely left its mark as a group to remember.

Watch the full Shalamar “Unsung” episode here:

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Lauryn Hill Summons the Soulful Spirit of Nina Simone on “Feeling Good” Cover from Forthcoming Tribute Album [FULL STREAM] @MsLaurynHill @NinaSimoneMusic

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Question: What could possibly be better than the incomparable Ms. Lauryn Hill covering the classic Nina Simone song “Feeling Good?”

Answer: Lauryn Hill bestowing her magical voice upon five more renditions of the iconic singer-songwriter’s tunes on an upcoming tribute compilation, that’s what.

Due out July 10th on RCA Records, Nina Revisited: A Tribute to Nina Simone will be unveiled in conjunction with the upcoming Netflix documentary What Happened, Miss Simone? which premieres June 26th. The 16-track collection features a total of six Lauryn Hill blessed covers, testament to Hill’s undying devotion to Nina Simone’s indelible legacy. “Because I fed on this music, both hers and lovers like her, like my basic food, I believed I always had a right to have a voice,” Hill said. “Her example is clearly a form of sustenance to a generation needing to find theirs. What a gift.” Read more of this post

Rediscover the Funk With Bootsy Collins Unsung [Full Episode] @Bootsy_Collins @tvonetv

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Rediscover the Funk with Bootsy Collins “Unsung” Full Episode.

A member of Parliament-Funkadelic, Bootsy Collins got his start with the likes of James Brown back in the 1970’s. Since that time, he’s influenced artists from 2Pac to the Red Hot Chili Peppers. “Unsung” follows Bootsy’s life and career down a path that ultimately led to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Get re-acquainted with Bootsy Collins on this episode of TVOne‘s “Unsung.”

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#LongPlayLove: Summer & Fall 2015 Music Preview – 10 Must-Hear New Albums Dropping Soon by Justin Chadwick @justin_chadwick

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Without question, 2015 has already proven to be a fantastically fruitful year for new music, and a forthcoming Long Play Love feature will celebrate the best albums of the year thus far. But before we take a retrospective look back at the year’s first six months, it’s time to take a prospective gaze into the future, toward the fine music on the horizon for the summer and fall. Be sure to add the albums below to your mental checklist, and be on the lookout for their arrival in stores soon. Read more of this post

Fall Back in Love with Teena Marie on Unsung [FULL EPISODE] @tvonetv

Fall Back in Love with Teena Marie on Unsung

Unsung recaps the life and career of the “Ivory Queen of Soul,” Teena Marie. The 80’s Star captivated music fans with her vocals, energy, and, most importantly, her soulfulness. Journey back through the life and times of Lady T in this episode of Unsung.

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“Keep It Movin'” this Morning with Maysa featuring Stokley [FULL VIDEO] @MAYSALEAK

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“Keep It Movin'” this Morning with Maysa, ft Stokley

Maysa is a jazzy chanteuse with a thing for subtle but powerful vocals. Her sweet sound is featured in her latest single “Keep It Movin.'” Partnered with the soul man Stokley Williams (of Mint Condition) on this number, the song plays out as a jazzy, yet ominous clarion call for lovers who are too passive in their pursuits of their intended. Not only is the song upbeat in rhythm, the colorful video and fun playful images are the perfect prelude to summer! It is also featured on her new album Back2Love, currently available on iTunes.

Enjoy the full video below!

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#LongPlayLove: Slum Village’s ‘Fantastic, Vol. 2′ – Celebrating 15 Years by Justin Chadwick [FULL ALBUM STREAM] @justin_chadwick @slumvillage @OfficialJDilla1 @T3sv

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Happy 15th Anniversary to Slum Village’s Fantastic, Vol. 2 LP, originally released June 13, 2000.

Much like my own hometown of Oakland, the city of Detroit is more often than not the object of stigmatization and misunderstanding. Particularly so among those who have never actually spent much time there and condemn Detroit based on the information they passively digest through television or in the papers. Granted, since the city’s more prosperous years of the early to mid 20th century, Detroit’s recent history has proven a tragically disquieting one. Plagued by a tidal wave of economic crisis and urban decay arguably more pronounced than any other US metropolis has endured in the past fifty years, Detroit is indeed a skeleton of its formerly virile self. Read more of this post

Hear Slum Village’s New LP YES! Prior to Next Week’s Official Release [FULL ALBUM STREAM] @slumvillage @T3sv @YoungRJDetroit @OfficialJDilla1

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Detroit hip-hop trio Slum Village is set to release their highly-anticipated eighth studio album YES! this Tuesday, June 16th, and they’ve magnanimously blessed us with an early sneak-peek.

The 12-song set features the rousing rhymes of T3 and Young RJ, the production wizardry of the late great J Dilla on nine tracks (four of which are co-produced by Young RJ), plus stellar collaborations with De La Soul, Bilal, Phife Dawg, Black Milk, Jon Connor, BJ the Chicago Kid, Illa J and J Ivy. Read more of this post

Vibe Out to “Turbulence” by IAMNOBODI [FULL STREAM] @IAMNOBODI

Vibe Out to "Turbulence" by IAMNOBODI

Vibe Out to “Turbulence” by IAMNOBODI.

IAMNOBODI is aptly named, because there’s not much out there on this guy. The Soulection signee keeps a low profile when it comes to sharing personal information, leaving all of the focus on the music. His most recent post to his SoundCloud was this track titled “Turbulence.” Contrary to the title, “Turbulence” is one of the smoothest tracks you’ll hear. Soulful vocals and a guitar-laced instrumental produce a sound that is quite serene and perfect for those summer nights.

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Leon Bridges Delivers a Dynamite Dose of Retro-Soul in New Video for “Smooth Sailin’” [FULL VIDEO] @leonbridges

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Mark our words. When the nominations for next February’s Grammy Awards are revealed later this year, Leon Bridges will be included among the nominees short-listed for Best New Artist. And the team here at soulhead is willing to bet the cash in our wallets that Bridges ascends to the stage on the evening of February 15th to accept the honor. Read more of this post

#LongPlayLove: Bob Marley & the Wailers’ ‘Uprising’ – Celebrating 35 Years by Justin Chadwick [FULL ALBUM STREAM] @justin_chadwick @bobmarley @OriginalWailers @tuffgongstudio

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Happy 35th Anniversary to Bob Marley & the Wailers’ final studio LP Uprising, originally released June 10, 1980.

If you’re a fan of reggae music, no matter how casual or passionate your support of the genre may be, chances are better than good that you own Bob Marley & the WailersLegend. In fact, more broadly speaking, most fans of pop music likely have shelf space reserved for this greatest of greatest hits compilations, alphabetically positioned right between their Madonna and Bruno Mars records. Originally released in 1984, Legend is the biggest selling reggae album of all time, still routinely shifts hundreds of thousands of units worldwide each year, and has generated global sales in excess of 25 million units to date. Astounding figures, though Legend’s ubiquity should surprise no one in his or her right mind, considering the undeniable brilliance of the music contained therein. Read more of this post

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